McCOOK, Nebraska -- The McCook City Council was presented with space layout and cost projections from Prochaska & Associates of Omaha for the proposed Municipal Facility at Monday's semi-monthly City Council meeting at Memorial Auditorium.
The cost projections for construction of the facility to house Police and Fire Departments as well as City Staff were listed as $5,837,350, with a reduced option which the council preferred to pursue at $5,218,200.
Via a conference call, Prochaska & Associates representatives told the City Council that the lower cost option would most likely reduce the amount of brick used on the exterior as well as require the use of more of a metal structure.
Architect Jim Classe of Prochaska said "the $5.2 million cost estimate is using a half-metal, half-standard pricing, but a lot is still needed to be worked through before the numbers are exact."
The sales-tax-funded structure will provide significant facility upgrades to all departments based out of it, as well as the ability to share a single public entrance. City Council chambers would be handicap accessible, and the police department would get a significant upgrade to its interview facilities as well as covered parking for eight police squad cars.
The proposed facility makes use of the sloping nature of the lot it will be built on, reducing the amount of excavation needed and housing the Fire Department on a second level over the emergency and fire vehicles bay.
Council members seemed pleased with the proposal, drawing praise from Lonnie Anderson and Aaron Kircher. Voters will decide the fate of the project in November.
The meeting also featured a public hearing proposing changes to the zoning ordinance. The changes were subsequently approved, inserting 46 items to the ordinance and deleting seven.
"The zoning ordinance lacked definition in a lot of areas and we have not been in a position to bring a counseling firm on board. These [insertions] are just definitions we're talking about," said City Manager Kurt Fritsch during the hearing.
Fritsch also recommended the council begin conversation regarding two other zoning ordinance topics, adult establishments and detention facilities.
The definition of "adult establishments" was among the new insertions. Fritsch said building a document strong enough to uphold challenges would be beneficial, as would advanced conversation regarding "where we will allow them [adult establishments]. We must allow them somewhere, the courts have proven that."
Detention facilities are currently only allowed in agricultural zones and Fritsch said it would be prudent to begin conversations around expanding that in an effort to assist the county with its potential jail.
The Police Department, in conjunction with the McCook Board of Health and the City Council continued their city-wide cleanup of nuisance properties. Three additional properties were declared unsafe nuisance properties and condemned: 606 W. Third; 710 W. Fourth; and 1403 West 14th.
Subsequently demolition bids were awarded for seven locations in all, 710 W. Fourth; No. 23 South Street; 606 W. Third; 208 West 10th; 202 S. Seventh; 105 S. Seventh; and 1306 West 12th. A property 1403 West 14th was originally intended to be included with the demolition projects but, but because the owner failed to return the required paperwork in time to include it as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds, any subsequent demolition expense would be at the owner's expense or require the owner to surrender ownership of the property to the city.
Fritsch, Public Works Director Kyle Potthoff, Public Works Supervisor Dob Neuhaus, Councilmen Aaron Kircher and Lonnie Anderson were appointed to the Selection Board for Engineering Consulting Services for the "H" street project from Norris Avenue to Airport Road. Kircher and Anderson were added to the board appointees list after Kircher proposed the change and city staff confirmed the move was not in conflict with Federal Highway Administration procedures. The deadline of Aug. 4, 2010, 2 p.m., was set to receive proposals from engineering consulting services regarding the project.
Other items approved on the Consent and Regular Agenda:
* the City Council accepted a rate change for under 60 congregate and home delivered meals, effective July 1, 2010 at the Heritage Senior Center. The new rate does not cover the $6.50 cost of the meal, but reduces the loss to the city from approximately $430 monthly, to $207.48.
* A proposal from the McCook Economic Development Corp. to provide a tax credit for services to W. Design for work at the Keystone Hotel was approved. The city served as a sponsor for the application with no cost or liability for its participation.
* A recommendation to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission for TJ's Family Fun Center for a one-story building, 140 feet by 40 feet, was approved.
* City council received and filed the Financial Report for the quarter ending June 30, 2010.
* Council approved $7,000 to be withdrawn from the Council Contingency Fund to pay for the city's portion of a 50/50 agreement with the county to develop a Hazard Mitigation Plan that complies with the Federal Emergency Management Administration.